This is my final response on the Facebook “conversation” I had with the angry white guy. It covers a lot of how I feel and what I think about this topic and how I hope I can continue to respond in the future.

Thanks for reading.
 


 

I’m not responding directly to your arguments because they’re not helpful.

You are reacting emotionally to the video and your arguments are logical attempts at rationalizing why your feelings are justified.

It’s easy to blame the black guy for saying all white people are racist.

What’s difficult is dealing with the unpleasant truths that your discomfort at being called a racist reveals about you.

I’m asking you to stop trying to justify your feelings and just feel them.

Feel your feelings. (Luke)

Feel the embarrassment, shame, fear, judgement, rage, anger – whatever comes up for you. Just feel the discomfort at being called a racist by a black man and see what’s there for you. What wisdom is there about yourself when you feel the feelings? What can you learn about yourself when you feel the feelings without judgement and without blame?

Can you feel your feelings as a source of information instead of trying to make them someone else’s fault?

There is no blame. There is no ‘at fault’. This racism isn’t personal. This racism isn’t your choice (unless you’re actually choosing to be racist, which I don’t think you are).

When Trump won I read a lot about white America in an attempt to understand how someone like Trump was elected. I was able, through the global connection of Facebook to connect and dialogue with whites from the south and the mid-west who could explain to me about white america without getting emotionally attached and combative. I am very grateful for them and what I learned as a result.

What I’ve learned fundamentally is that lack of diversity and lack of education are the biggest contributors to racial bias. Lack of diversity and a lack of education voted Trump into the White House.

I had the great fortune of being born and raised in Toronto. 6 million people in the GTA and 49% ethnic diversity. I learned to navigate race relations the second I walked out my door. Not as an academic or mental construct or thought experiment, but because I had to live, work and go to school with people from all over the world, every day.

When I was 5 I had to learn that the version of “Eeny, Meany, Miney, Mo” that I was taught was some racist shit that used the “n” word and as a result Angela Beeston refused to be friends with me because I was ‘mean’. I didn’t know what the heck was going on but listened very closely the next time someone played “Eeny, Meany, Miney, Mo” and realized that “Tigger” was a better version and didn’t make black people mad at me.

I grew up non-religious and learned quickly that when Ali was telling me about how his family celebrates Ramadan by fasting all day, I shouldn’t call it weird (even though it WAS weird to me, because there was nothing in my family life that even approached fasting and the thought of fasting was alien to my non-religious self), because Ali got really angry and thought I was insulting his religion and never talked to me again. Not EVER.

Ethnic diversity forced me from an early age to listen, seek to understand, find common ground and communicate as effectively as possible.

There is no criticism that stands against my ideology of ethnic diversity and education.

This, I think is the most frustrating part of the current racial civil rights conversation and the divide between those that you call “virtue signalling posers” or progressive liberals and the conservative right – especially the religious right; is that a lived experience of ethnic diversity is a superior education in tolerance, empathy and understanding.

A lived experience of ethnic diversity is the foundation for living a life of global harmony and peace. Living an experience of ethnic and cultural diversity is our only peaceful future.

Ethnic diversity is better. Ethnic diversity is the future. Living in ethnic diversity creates an experience of humanity that is just not possible to comprehend unless you live it.

Ethnic and cultural homogeneity voted Trump into office. Ethnic and cultural homogeneity gives rise to an ignorance and bias that are just not possible in a life lived daily in ethnic and cultural diversity.

From what I understand, Brexit was similar; a very high percentage who voted to leave identified as white christians.

I don’t get into racial conversations often, but when I do I always check to see where in the world (literally) people are coming from and what that may suggest about their experiences.

Your profile says that you were born and currently reside in Rotherham. Rotherham UK has a population of 258k people and is 93.9% White British. 96.6% speak English as a first language and less than 1% are black African.

If you have never lived at length anywhere more culturally or ethnically diverse than Rotherham, I question the conclusions you have arrived at regarding white racism.

I suggest that those conclusions are more likely a result of your social contact and lack of a lived experience in cultural and ethnic diversity.

I was in your position a few years ago and had to feel my discomfort and emotional reaction to being called racist in videos like this. I had to deal with the fall out and educate myself – again.

An emotional reaction to being called racist is always an indicator to look deeper in ourselves.